Difference Between Au Pair and Nanny

Both nannies and au pairs assist families with childcare. A nanny is a regular employee who receives a wage. As a temporary family member, an au pair is integrated into family life. The au pair lives in the family’s home, eats meals with them, and is paid with monthly allowances rather than a wage.

Au Pair vs Nanny         

The main difference between au pair and nanny is that a nanny is a skilled child caregiver who is typically from the same community and has chosen to work with children as a vocation. Au pairs are young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 who go to the United States on a cultural exchange visa to live with and provide care for an American family’s children.

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During the au pair’s temporary stay, the au pair is treated as a complete member of the family. As a result, he or she assists the family with childcare and may be requested to help with light housework. In exchange for free board and housing, as well as allowances which the host family offers. The au pair is neither a housekeeper nor a nanny. Au pairs are single women who have no children of their own.

A nanny is a child care specialist who works in the home of a family. A nanny is hired by a family to offer the greatest degree of specialized child care and attention to the children of the household. A nanny might work full-time or part-time, for long or short periods, and may or may not reside with the family. The nanny’s job is to help the family by being a caring, nurturing, and dependable companion to the children.

Comparison Table Between Au Pair and Nanny

Parameters of ComparisonAu PairNanny
AgeBetween 18 and 30.No age limitations.
Work responsibilityAssisting the host family with childcare and light housework.Responsible for the family’s children and housekeeping.  
Work permitA particular au-pair visa is required but some nations do not require a visa.Need a work permit or a visa
Working hoursEstablished by the host nation and mentioned in the contract.Determined by the country’s labor regulations and are agreed with the family.
SalaryReceives monthly or weekly allowance.Earns at least the country’s minimum salary.  

What is Au Pair?

Au pair is more than simply a fancy French term meaning “nanny.” The phrase translates to “on par with” or “equal to” and refers to a foreign national who is regarded as a member of his or her host family rather than merely an employee. Consider an au pair to be a foreign exchange student who will remain with a host family in the United States for at least a year to earn money while attending school.

Au pairs must earn at least six hours of academic credit at an eligible US post-secondary educational institution while living with the host family, according to the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. They will also be thoroughly verified and interviewed by an organizational representative from a Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs-approved sponsor.

Au pairs are also subject to additional constraints when it comes to caring for babies under the age of two. An au pair, for example, cannot be placed with the host family until their child is at least three months old. They are also not permitted to work with children under the age of two unless they have 200 hours of verifiable infant-care experience.

If the host family has a special-needs kid, the au pair cannot be placed with them unless he or she has prior experience, abilities, or training in the care of special-needs children and the family has approved such training in writing.

What is Nanny?

A nanny is a child-care professional at least 18 years old who is employed by a family to give expert care and individual attention to the children. The nanny can work full-time or part-time, care for babies, assist youngsters in developing good sleep routines, and attend to the children’s fundamental requirements and social trips according to the agreed-upon preferences, depending on the family’s needs.

A nanny’s specialties, certificates, substantial experience, and/or a college degree in early childhood education are all commonly required. Nannies should have a great passion for children and a desire to see the children in their care develop and prosper in a safe and supportive environment.

Cleaning the children’s rooms, washing their clothes, amusing them, disciplining them, teaching them etiquette, and caring for them when they are sick or angry are all things that a nanny is supposed to do. A nanny collaborates with parents to help develop children who are responsible and capable.

Instead of just babysitting their children, some parents engage nannies who are qualified to instruct them, providing them with greater learning possibilities. A competent nanny’s ultimate objective is to offer outstanding care to the children while they are in their care. A full-time professional nanny generally comes from a more sophisticated educational background.

This might be a mix of years of experience, a master’s degree in early childhood education, or a teaching credential. They usually have specialized training in working with special needs children, as well as various parenting styles and age groups. They have put time and effort into developing a background in child care.

Main Differences Between Au Pair and Nanny

  1. Au pairs are often between the ages of 18 and 30, whereas nannies have no age limitations.
  2. Au pairs are primarily responsible for assisting the host family with childcare and light housework, whereas nannies are often responsible for the family’s children and housekeeping.
  3. There is a particular au-pair visa in various countries. Some nations do not require a visa, however, Nannies who want to work abroad usually need a work permit or a visa. The majority of nannies work in their nation.
  4. The maximum working hours of an au pair are established by the host nation and should be specified in a contract, but the working hours of a nanny are determined by the country’s labor regulations and are agreed with the family.
  5. The au pair is paid by the family and receives monthly/weekly allowance from the host family, whereas the nanny is paid by the family and earns at least the country’s minimum salary.


When someone is seeking domestic assistance to look after their family members, especially the children, they are looking for either an au pair or a nanny. At such time it narrows down to the kind of assistance one is seeking. Au pairs may only be employed through au pair agencies that have been licensed by the state government since they are foreigners.

Nannies, on the other hand, can be found through word of mouth, internet labor providers, and certain properly licensed nanny organizations. Au pairs have a propensity to lag in the language because they are from another nation. Nonetheless, depending on the arrangement, both staff can provide housekeeping services.


  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9781137377487_10
  2. https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4594/
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